Upcycling with Laura Ashley

Interior stylist and blogger Karen Barlow upcycles her chest of drawers with Laura Ashley… read more

We’re all budget conscious at the moment and as a stylist working with constantly shrinking budgets, a great way to add something unique to a room scheme is by upcycling a piece of previously discarded furniture.

This chest of drawers cost just £10.00 from a local charity shop and with a bit of imagination and some paint and wallpaper it has been transformed into something of beauty.

First off start by removing any existing handles or knobs and then remove the drawers to make the furniture easier to paint.

Next give the furniture a light sanding to give the paint a key to adhere to.

You’re now ready to paint the first coat of paint in a colour of your choice. I have chosen Laura Ashley Dove Grey paint to co-ordinate with one of our bedrooms, which is papered in Laura Ashley Josette, also in dove grey.

The furniture will need two or three coats of paint and you can finish with a coat of clear, matt varnish for extra durability.

Choose either one wallpaper design, in a co-ordinating colour to the paint or a selection of wallpapers for the drawers, as I have done here. Measure the drawer front and then either cut the paper to size or slightly smaller to leave an even border around the paper. Adhere the paper using PVA glue. For my choice of papers, I have used Hydrangea in camomile, a new design this season and Draycott, also in camomile.

Apply a coat of PVA glue and water solution to the whole of the drawer front. The solution will need to be two parts glue to one part water. This will harden and protect the paper. After the first coat has dried, apply several more, until the paper is completely protected. You will need patience for this part but you will be rewarded with a piece of furniture that will be durable and practical.

Finally attach your choice of handles to the drawers. Once again these can be the same for each drawer front or an eclectic mix for each drawer. I have re-used the existing handles re-painted in dove grey but another lovely choice would be Isabella or Margot.

Your beautiful finished set of drawers!


To visit Karen’s blog for more inspiring ideas click here


Thank you for this – perfect timing, I have finally decided it’s high time I sorted out the writing desk whcih has been sitting around sanded and primed for over 18months!

This is a great idea.I’ve just bought what looks like a boring chest of drawers from a charity shop.bought it because the drawers are nice and deep.Now with this great tip I can wait to transform them.Many thanks..

Thanks for this great idea.Your transformation looks so pretty.I will be transforming a recently purchased chest of drawers from a charity shop.

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